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The Administrative Threat To Civil Liberties

Philip Hamburger


August 25, 2018 Fieldstead and Company

On August 25, 2018, Fieldstead and Company welcomed legal scholar and Columbia University constitutional law professor Philip Hamburger for an in-depth discussion on the socio-political ramifications of the emergence and proliferation of administrative law in American jurisprudence. Professor Hamburger argues that certain facets of administrative law have come to represent a marked threat to the effective exercise of adjudication and thus deleteriously impact civil liberties, and every citizen’s access to due process.

Fieldstead and Company was also honored to have in attendance and participating in the Q&A for this lecture, Judge Janice Rogers Brown. Judge Brown was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in June 2005. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. Judge Brown received a Master of Laws from the University of Virginia School of Law. Brown had experience as a deputy in the Office of Legislative Counsel for the State of California, as a deputy attorney general in the California Attorney General’s Office, and as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel for California’s Business, Transportation and Housing Agency before serving a stint as Governor Pete Wilson’s Legal Affairs Secretary. From 1994 to 1996, she served as an associate justice of the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, and from 1996 to 2005, as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. She retired from the Circuit in 2017.

Philip Hamburger is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. Before coming to Columbia, he was the John P. Wilson Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Earlier, he was the Oswald Symyster Colclough Research Professor at George Washington University Law School and a Professor at the University of Connecticut Law School. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia Law School and at Northwestern Law School, where he was the Jack N. Pritzker Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law. Prior to his academic career, he practiced law in business and in corporate tax.

He writes on constitutional law and its history – with particular emphasis on religious liberty, freedom of speech and the press, judicial office, administrative power, and unconstitutional conditions. He also studies Anglican, Baptist, and Quaker history, early secularism, and the Ku Klux Klan.

His books are Separation of Church and State (Harvard 2002), Law and Judicial Duty (Harvard 2008), Is Administrative Law Unlawful? (Chicago 2014), The Administrative Threat (Encounter 2017), and Liberal Suppression: Section 501(c)(3) and the Taxation of Speech (forthcoming Chicago 2018). His recent articles include: “Chevron Bias,” George Washington Law Review (2016).

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he has served on the board of directors of the American Society for Legal History. He has twice received the Sutherland Prize for the most significant contribution to English legal history, and has been awarded the Henry Paolucci – Walter Bagehot Book Award, the Hayek Book Prize, and the Bradley Prize.

Watch his talk below:


Readers may also be interested in Howard Ahmanson's blog post, "A Response to Philip Hamburger on the 'Administrative Threat'," which is one of Howard's many blog posts at related to issues of law and politics.


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